Traditional Chinese Mooncakes / 广式月饼

Mooncake is a Chinese confection that is traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, although they can be eaten at other times of the year as well. Traditional mooncakes are typically baked and consists of a thin tender skin enveloping a sweet and slightly oily filling, like lotus seed paste, bean paste, jujube pasteangiesrecipes, sesame paste, and many other kinds.
Besides its significance in Chinese history, mooncakes play an important role in August Moon gatherings and gift giving. These palm-sized round cakes symbolize family unity and perfection. Some mooncakes have a golden yellow egg yoke in the center which looks like a bright moon. They usually come in a box of four and are packaged in tin boxes with traditional Chinese motifs.

Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony" as well as the name of the bakery and filling in the moon cake. Imprints of a moon (月亮), a woman on the moon(嫦娥), flowers(花), vines(藤), or a rabbit(玉兔) may surround the characters for additional decoration.

This crust has a reddish-brown tone and glossy sheen. It is the most common type of crust used on Cantonese-style mooncakes. It is also the most commonly sold in many western countries. Chewy mooncake crust is made using a combination of inverted sugar syrup, lye water, flour, and oil, thus giving this crust its rich taste and a chewy yet tender texture.

Nobody actually knows when the custom of eating moon cake of celebrate the Moon Festival began, but one relief traces its origin to the 14th century. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plan and developes a secret moon cake strategy to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. He distributed these to the city's populace. When the time for the year's Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne. Moon cake of course, became even more famous. Whether this sweet Chinese version of ancient Europe's "Trojan Horse" story is true, no one really known.
First lady on the moon: It is generally conceded that Neil Armstrong , the American astronaut, was the first man on moon ( he made that historic landing in 1969). But that's not necessarily the truth to Chinese, who believe that the first people on the moon was a beautiful woman who lived during the Hsia dynasty (2205-1766BC). This somewhat complicated moon-landing story goes like this: A woman , Chang-O, was married to the great General Hou-Yi of the Imperial Guard. General Hou was a skilled archer. One day, at the behest of the emperor, he shot down eight of nine suns that had mysteriously appeared in the heaven that morning. His marksmanship was richly rewarded by the emperor and he became very famous. However, the people feared that these suns would appear again to torture them and dry up the planet, so they prayed to the Goddess of Heaven (Wang Mu) to make General Hou immortal so that he could always defend the emperor, his progeny and the country. Their wish was granted and General Hou was given a Pill of Immortality. More information about Moon Cake Festival

  • 1 g Alkali (I used Potassium Carbonate - Pottasche)
  • 3 ml Water
  • 78 g Inverted sugar
  • 30 g Salad oil (preferable peanut oil)
  • 105 g Plain flour (I used German #405 flour)
  • 780 g Filling (Pastes of lotus seeds, black sesame, Chinese dates or poppy seeds)
  • 1 tbsp Egg yolk
  • 1/2 tbsp Egg white
  1. Dissolve alkali with water in a bowl. Add in inverted sugar syrup and oil. Beat until thoroughly combined and emulsified. Sift in the half flour and mix to the consistency of smooth paste. Add in another half and use rubber spatula to mix the dough until it becomes as soft as your earlobe. Cover it with plastic film and set aside for at least four hours at room temperature.
  2. Divide dough and filling into 12 portions, each about 17 grams and 65 grams respectively. Flatten a portion of the dough in the palm of your hand and center the filling. Gently push the dough upward from all sides with two hands until all the filling are fully covered. Extend the dough with constant strength to so that the filling can be completely and evenly enclosed. Rub into a ball and coat thinly with flour. Dust the mold with flour and pour off the excess.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F. Stir the egg yolk and white in a bowl until combined. Set aside. Place the filled packet, seam side up, in the floured mold. Press firmly to obtain the clear imprint of the mold and push down the imprinted mooncake onto a baking tray. Lightly spray the surface of the mooncakes with water and bake for 5-7 minutes on the upper rack of the hot oven. Once the surface of the mooncakes started to appear light-coloured, remove and lower the oven temperature to 150C/300F. Brush the imprints atop the mooncakes with egg mixture and return them to the oven. Bake for 7 further minutes and take out again. Brush with egg mixture once more and return to bake for 5 more minutes until golden. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Store the mooncakes in an airtight container. Mooncakes are at their best 2-3 days after baking. The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled if you want to give a thoughtful and homemade gift to your friends.
Traditional Chinese Mooncakes / 广式月饼 on Foodista


Palidor 11/8/09 17:34

Oh wow.... Angie, you are totally awesome! I can't believe you make your own moon cakes!!!

♥peachkins♥ 11/8/09 17:48

I love mooncakes. I buy mooncakes here for P100/pc. Its so cool that you can make your own. I wanna pluck one from my screen now and eat it.

KennyT 11/8/09 18:00

Hi Angie, to confess, I am not a big fan of mooncakes. But I don't mind flying to Germany just to try the ones made by you, hahaha.

homeladychef 11/8/09 18:11 fast and then your mooncake is out already! Amazing speed!! They look nice too! Wondering if you can come out with some ice skin ( Bing pi) ones too?

Chef Nash 11/8/09 18:54

Hey Angie... I love moon cake so much, moon cake is hard to find when not in its eating season, I thanks to you for the recipes and I knew that women Chang O... meet her few times at the moon... hehe ;)

Nicole Chow - 11/8/09 18:56

WOWWWWWWWWW! I don't think I've had mooncake in eons! Do you ever put the one big egg yolk in the middle? My dad and I used to fight for that part. Thanks for letting me reminisce!

Angie's Recipes 11/8/09 19:07

@Palidor: It's rather time-consuming, fun though.
@♥peachkins♥: It's not very difficult, well, the difficult part is 'dough', need to practice a few times to get the consistency right.
@KennyT: Neither am I. And I would not think about eating or buying them if I lived HK---the Food Paradise!
@homeladychef: I like "Ping Pei" chilled mooncakes more. Will definitely make some!
@Chef Nash: In my hometown, we eat more Taiwanese mooncakes and they are good too! But Cantonese ones are way more popular! And I am glad that you like the recipe.
@Nicole Chow: Yes, lotus seed paste with double salted duck eggs....but it's long long time ago...might do some next year. :-)

Vrinda 11/8/09 19:16

Never heard of this cake before,lovely cuties with nice design,hats off to u Angie...

Anonymous 11/8/09 19:33

I dont knw if I will have the patience to make these kinda things..the cakes look wonderful and a big pat on ur back for ur effort

the ungourmet 11/8/09 19:42

These are so amazing! I would love to taste them!

Heavenly Housewife 11/8/09 20:04

These are so beautiful, I wish i could try one!

Katy ~ 11/8/09 20:28

I bow to your total coolness and greatness! These are incredible and outstanding!!

Cookin' Canuck 11/8/09 21:44

Angie, those are absolutely amazing! I love food with a good story.

Anonymous 11/8/09 22:23

These are very neat! I've never heard of them before, thanks for sharing the recipe!

Ann 11/8/09 22:32

I haven't had this before.. but it looks soo kweell.. with those characters. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Ben 11/8/09 23:21

I always love learning something new about food and traditions. This post has certainly been very informative. Thanks for sharing :D

The Little Teochew 12/8/09 03:47

They look fantastic, Angie! Kudos to you for making them from scratch! I love mooncakes with 4 yolks! I can eat and eat and eat them with wild abandon. Luckily I lead an active lifestyle ;P Oh well, once a year only ... this is my "Oktoberfest". Haha!

Reeni♥ 12/8/09 03:54

I love the story of the woman on the moon. These are truly beautiful! I have always been enamored by them. You are so talented!

My Asian Kitchen 12/8/09 07:57

your mooncake is really beautiful!! wish I have your talent.if we live neat each other I wanna to learn from you,visual is hard...BTW isn't mooncake festival here or gone? sorry for my inogrance

nora@ffr 12/8/09 09:45

wow angie!! i love the pretty designs made on the cute moon cakes.. also the moon story :D hehe angie you are a talented cook! also i love the stunning photography of urs. hmm ill definitely try to make moon cake for my kids. but dnt think itll be that perfect as urs. ehehe

Angie's Recipes 12/8/09 12:27

@Vrinda, the ungourmet, Heavenly Housewife, munchcrunchandsuch, Katy ~: Thank you! That's very kind of you. ;-)
@Cookin' Canuck, 5 Star Foodie, Ann, Ben: I always thought the mooncakes are one of well-known Chinese sweets. I guess I was wrong. I am glad to know that you guys find this is interesting.
@The Little Teochew: Really? 4 yolks? Oh, man.....lucky you are a sport person, or you might have the problem with the body balance.
@Reeni♥: oh, yes, I like the story behind mooncakes more than food themselves.
@My Asian Kitchen: It's not yet shall be on 3rd Oct this year.
@nora: Check Ben's site (, you will know his photography is beyond perfection!!

Juliana 12/8/09 20:45

I love mooncakes...I will never dare to make my own...I give you a lot of credit for it! Do you know how I know when the Mooncake festival is near? At the Asian grocery store, they are packed of different size, shape and brands...I specially like the ones that contain the salty egg yolk. BTW, I like your pictures!

lisaiscooking 12/8/09 21:51

Your mooncakes look gorgeous! Very pretty crust.

pigpigscorner 13/8/09 10:57

They look perfect! I'm not brave enough to make this just yet. I find that I'm not very good with pastries.

Parita 13/8/09 17:49

I have never had these before, they look fantastic and you made them at home....hats off to you!

Cooking-Gallery 13/8/09 20:44

I don't like mooncakes, but they certainly always look very pretty...! Great job!

FantasyElf 15/9/09 17:28

Hihi,the mooncakes are gorgeous! TQ for the recipe. But i have a problem, my imprints dont stay after I bake them :( how can i make them stay? thank you!

Angie's Recipes 16/9/09 07:19

@FantasyElf: The filling might have been too wet, that usually would produce a unclear imprint after baking, and if too dry, the skin would crack.

la_lune 29/10/09 20:01

I like yuebing very much. especially with redbean filling. Mooncake is not only delicious, but beautiful. I wanna bake right now!! it's amazing~~ Buy the way, where can i get these mold??

Angie's Recipes 30/10/09 07:07

@La Runa, thank you! If you don't live in China, then the places to get the molds might be the China town or large chain stores, which sell large ranks of baking wares.


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